Blog

Articles and information to keep you up to date on personal injury news.

concussion

Staying Alert for Second Impact Syndrome

Staying alert for a student with a concussion is something that every coach should do. That is why CHSSA rules and last winter’s CHSSA SMAC Alert advise coaches and others tasked with managing high school sports teams to undergo specialized training to protect players from concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). This is crucial because students who suffer second concussions or Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) can face permanent disability or death.

Understanding Second Impact Syndrome (SIS)

SIS involves rapid swelling of the brain. It can occur when a player suffers a second concussion before the effects of an earlier concussion have healed. While it is believed to be rare, it is usually fatal, and the handful who survive are often left with permanent injuries. The severe risk is why it is imperative for coaches, officials, athletic trainers, and licensed practitioners to properly monitor players for concussions and to restrict them from playing until their health returns.

Moments matter when second concussions occur. It is not uncommon for players to “feel fine” and even complete entire games as their brain’s swelling progresses. However, the student’s health can rapidly decline, and they may lose consciousness, lose control over eye movement, or have dilated pupils.

These symptoms are typically followed by sudden respiratory failure. This progression can occur within minutes, and even with prompt medical treatment, most individuals in the grip of SIS pass away before the ambulance reaches the hospital.

Preventing SIS

Coaches, athletic trainers, team physicians, etc., have a duty to their students to remove them from play when they suspect a student suffers a concussion. Many have adopted the slogan, “When in doubt, sit it out!” It is good advice, and any student experiencing the following symptoms of a concussion should be immediately pulled from play:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Vomiting
  • Physical weakness
  • Numbness
  • Mental confusion

Students who experience these symptoms following a hit, strike, or fall while playing should be removed from the game, undergo a thorough examination, and for safety, kept from playing for seven days or until a licensed medical practitioner clears them for play.

Contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 for more information about concussion symptoms and the legal representation we provide students and parents following sports-related injuries in Boulder, Colorado, and along the Front Range.

Related Articles

Articles and information to keep you up to date on personal injury news.

April 16, 2021

The Boulder Community Mourns the Loss of Our Neighbors, Friends, and Colleagues

Coloradans have experienced more than our share of violent gun crimes in the past few decades. Columbine High School in 1999. The Century 16 in Aurora in 2012.
Read More

April 14, 2021

Evidence Establishes Speeding as a Contributing Cause

Speeding is a common contributing cause of motor vehicle accidents. However, as with all contributing causes, it is the plaintiff's burden to prove that speed was a factor
Read More

March 25, 2021

Will Spinal Cord Injuries Ever Be Healed?

Spinal cord injuries are devastating. The injury's physical and emotional impact leaves many wondering whether treatment will restore their mobility and quality of life. With nearly 18,000 new spinal
Read More